Victories for Bury St Edmunds and Clacton as Swardeston close in on title
A FIVE-WICKET defeat for Copdock & Old Ipswichian at the hands of Swardeston means the Norfolk side now have one hand on the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League trophy.
Swardeston lead the table by 29 points going into their final league game of the season, ironically at home to second-placed Vauxhall Mallards.
With a maximum of 30 points available to winning teams, Mallards would have to not only win but do so by batting first and denying Swardeston a single point, a highly unlikely scenario.
Copdock were bowled out for 201 in exactly 57 overs, Mark Thomas taking four for 54, and took just five balls longer to knock off the runs for the loss of five wickets.
Clacton enjoyed a six-wicket success at Saffron Walden, Imran Sheikh claiming 14-1-52-6 as the home side were dismissed for 237.
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Skipper Ben France joined Essex all-rounder Greg Smith with the visitors 38 for two and added 110 before Smith fell for 67 made from 89 balls with nine fours and two sixes.
France saw Clacton to victory, crafting an unbeaten 96 off 108 deliveries containing 11 fours and two sixes, with the runs coming in just 48 overs.
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Bury St Edmunds beat Halstead by ten wickets, after bowling out their visitors for 111, opener Andrew Charlton contributing a patient 45 occupying 156 balls, before being seventh man out.
Tom Rash returned excellent figures of 10.4-4-15-4.
Tom Huggins (56 off 53 balls with ten fours) and Sasha Ward (50 off 66 balls with seven fours) shared an unbeaten 112-run opening partnership to secure the win that takes Bury back above Sudbury, who lost at Horsford by three wickets.
Sudbury recovered from nine for three, James Poulson top-scoring with 62 and adding 55 with skipper Darren Batch for the fifth wicket, to close on 180 for eight.
However, Horsford reached their target in the 42nd over, but drop to third place as a result.
Mildenhall or Woolpit will face Norwich in a play-off for a place in next season’s Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.
Foxton, the winners of the Tucker Gardner Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Premier League, have declined the invitation to take the opportunity of promotion.
Andy Abbott, secretary of the EAPL, said this was in view of the gap between their first and second XI sides, with the club feeling they do not have the strength in depth to compete at the higher level.
Norwich, winners of the Howes Percival Norfolk Alliance, will face the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship winners in the 50 overs-a-side contest on Saturday, September 22, with either Mildenhall or Woolpit at home. The winners will replace already-relegated Halstead in the EAPL next season.
Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League
*Cambridge Granta 108 in 46 overs (D Rice 30, W Lonsdale 4 for 26, J Spelman 4 for 37). Great Witchingham 110 for 1 in 27.2 overs (C Rogers 56no, S Arthurton 39no). Great Witchingham (25pts) bt Cambridge Granta (0pts) by 9 wkts.
*Copdock & Old Ipswichian 201 in 57 overs (M Cull 42, James East 42, E Pope 32, R Sharpe 28, M Thomas 4 for 54). Swardeston 203 for 5 in 57.5 overs (J Taylor 50, S Gray 40, M Parlane 31, C Taylor 26no, I Tufts 23no). Swardeston (25pts) bt Copdock & Old Ipswichian (8pts) by 5 wkts.
Halstead 111 a in 56.4 overs (A Charlton 45, T Rash 4 for 15). *Bury St Edmunds 112 for 0 in 19.5 overs (T Huggins 56no, S Ward 50no). Bury St Edmunds (25pts) bt Halstead (0pts) by 10 wkts.
Sudbury 180 for 8 in 66 overs (J Poulson 62, D Batch 38no, H Fernando 30, B Reece 20, C Brown 3 for 35, L Caswell 3 for 41). Horsford 181 for 7 in 41.5 overs (C Sabburg 48, J Wild 41, M Spenceley 37, H Fernando 3 for 49). *Horsford (25pts) bt Sudbury (7pts) by 4 wkts.
*Saffron Walden 237 in 62.3 overs (G Batticciotto 87, A Gale 57, S Parmenter 26, I Sheikh 6 for 52, S Gericke 3 for 39). Clacton 243 for 4 in 48 overs (B France 96no, G Smith 67, S Gericke 37no). Clacton (25pts) bt Saffron Walden (10pts) by 6 wkts.
*Vauxhall Mallards 212 for 9 in 66 overs (D Turner 66, C Schoemann 37, T Brice 26, C Amos 25, M Richards 4 for 35). Burwell 133 in 37.5 overs (H James 51no, M Richards 35, K Toner 20, O Stone 4 for 15). Vauxhall Mallards (30pts) bt Burwell (4pts) by 79 runs.
*Denotes home team